The trickle-down effect is typically used in an economic fashion, meaning the fashion trends flowing from upper class to lower class in society. However, in the world of college football, when something landscape-shattering happens at the top of the food chain, it has trick-down effects on the rest of the sport.
So, when like Lincoln Riley — a 38-year old head coach who is 55-10 over 5 seasons — leaves a top-10 historical program like Oklahoma to become the head coach at one of college football's biggest sleeping giants like USC, there are going to be some effects that follow.
Even if you are the No. 1 ranked team in the nation like Georgia. So, here's how Riley's decision impacts the Bulldogs program.
Recruits Free For All
Brandon Innis, Treyaun Webb, and Malachi Nelson, all Top-100 players in the 2023 class, all OU commits under Riley, all back on the open market. Innis and Webb are two names Georgia fans should pay particularly close attention to. Innis is an elite wide receiver from the Sunshine State and was on campus in Athens this summer according to sources. Treyaun Webb is obviously well acquainted with the Georgia faithful, having been a commit previously in the class. There will certainly be lines of communication here.
Additionally, 2022 defensive lineman Derrick Moore from Baltimore, Maryland is a player that Georgia has recently spoken to following his most recent de-commitment from Oklahoma.
One would expect Riley to have the upper hand on the California prospects, such as QB Malachi Nelson and RB Maleek Brown. If he could convince them to take a four-year sabbatical in Norman, Oklahoma, one would assume convincing them to stay home wouldn't be all that hard.
Buckle up, because every time there's a college coaching change, somewhere on that long list of potential replacements will be Dan Lanning. Whether it's Oklahoma that's interested in Lanning, or Baylor because Dave Aranda is interested in Oklahoma. This move by Riley has kicked off a drastic movement of coaching staffs this offseason.
Athletic directors will be looking for young, energetic, and uprising names on the coaching front to pull up the ranks, and Lanning has fit that description for a few years now.
Lanning's upbringing to this point in the coaching spectrum came via the midwest. So, he's well equipped to handle the recruiting and relationship requirements of those types of jobs.
OU in Limbo
It may not be a surprise, considering the oftentimes shady nature of college football in general, but there's no timetable currently for Oklahoma and Texas's official joining of the SEC. Though we do know at some point they are coming to the conference, and they will be doing so, for now, without a head coach. The SEC will be welcoming a Texas program coming off a (5-7) season that included losses to Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowas State, and West Virginia. And an Oklahoma program that is currently without a head coach.
Not exactly stable ground to enter the sport's premier conference on.
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